The Packard Campus Theater programs events year round, usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The State Theatre in Culpeper, VA, in collaboration with the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, offers additional film screenings, regularly programmed on Sunday afternoons with occasional showings on other days as well.
The schedule for each month is posted approximately two weeks in advance. Short subjects are presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.
In case of inclement weather, for screenings at the Packard Campus Theater, check the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 no sooner than three hours before show time to see if the movie has been cancelled. For screenings at the State Theatre, call their box office at 540-829-0292.
For more information about how to attend, go to the “About the Theater” link at the top of this page.
Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
Thursday, July 17 (7:30 p.m.)
LINDA (First Division, 1929)
Mrs. Wallace Reid (Dorothy Davenport) directed this silent drama starring Helen Foster as Linda Stillwater, a bright young girl from a poor mountain family. Linda’s brutal father forces her to marry Albert Decker, the elderly head of the local lumber mill, though she is in love with the town doctor. Noah Berry Sr., Warner Baxter, Kate Price and Bess Flowers also star in the film which was photographed by eight-time Oscar nominee Ernest Laszlo. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment on the Walker theater organ for this new 35 mm print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab. Short subjects to be announced.
Black & White, 75 minutes
Friday, July 18 (7:30 p.m.)
THE GOOD BAD MAN (Triangle, 1916)
Douglas Fairbanks stars as “Passin’ Through,” a cowboy Robin Hood-type who robs from the rich and gives to orphaned children. Along the way, he seeks revenge for past evils committed upon his family by The Wolf (Sam De Grasse) and finds a sweetheart (Bessie Love). Allan Dwan directed this lively western that was produced and written by Fairbanks and photographed by Victor Fleming in picturesque Tucson. This new restoration was produced by way of a three-way partnership between the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Cinémathèque française, and the Film Preservation Society. Film historian Rob Byrne will introduce the film and Philip Carli will provide live musical accompaniment on the Walker theater organ. Short subjects to be announced.
Black & White, 50 minutes
Saturday, July 19 (7:30 p.m.) at the State Theatre
AN EVENING OF SILENT COMEDY SHORTS (1917-1928)
The renowned Washington D.C. based Snark Ensemble will perform their original and spirited scores for a program of silent comedy shorts at the historic State Theatre in downtown Culpeper. Included on the program is “There It Is” (1928), a surrealist live action/stop-motion animation “haunted house” spoof starring Charley Bowers; “The Hansom Cabman” (1924), a hangover comedy with baby-faced Harry Langdon, Marceline Day and Andy Clyde; “Married to Order” (1920), directed by and starring Charley Chase with Oliver Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin as an overworked stage hand at a busy movie studio in “Behind the Screen” (1916). Admission is $6 and tickets are available at the door.
Black & White, approximately 90 minutes
Saturday, July 19 (7:30 p.m.) at the Packard Theatre
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (Triton, 1991)
In this film adaptation of physicist Stephen Hawking's book about the origins of the universe, director Errol Morris has woven together graphics, interviews and archival material in a story about both Hawking's life and science. David Ansen in Newsweek has called it, "an elegant, inspirational and mysterious movie. Morris turns abstract ideas into haunting images, and keeps them spinning in the air with the finesse, and playfulness, of a master juggler." Philip Glass composed the original score for the documentary.
Color, 80 minutes
Thursday, July 24 (7:30 p.m.)
APPLAUSE (Paramount, 1929)
This early sound-era masterpiece was the first film of both stage/director Rouben Mamoulian and cabaret/star Helen Morgan. Many have compared Mamoulian’s debut to that of Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” because of his flamboyant use of cinematic innovation to test technical boundaries. The tear-jerking plot boasts top performances from Morgan as the fading burlesque queen, Fuller Mellish Jr. as her slimy paramour and Joan Peers as her cultured daughter. However, the film is remembered today chiefly for Mamoulian’s audacious style. While most films of the era were static and stage-bound, Mamoulian’s camera reinvigorated the melodramatic plot by prowling relentlessly through sordid backstage life. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2006.
Black & White, 80 minutes
Friday, July 25 (7:30 p.m.)
WE STILL KILL THE OLD WAY (Lopert, 1967)
Writer-director Elio Petri won the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for this Mafia crime drama and political thriller. The film stars Gian Maria Volonté as an intellectual loner who finds himself in over his head when he probes the assassination of two friends. Beautifully photographed in Sicily and featuring a lush score by Luis Enrique Bacalov, the film also stars Irene Papas. In Italian with English subtitles.
Color, 99 minutes
Saturday, July 26 (7:30 p.m.)
THE ROARING TWENTIES (Warner Bros., 1939)
James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart star as former WWI Army buddies who become prohibition racketeers in this hard-hitting gangster film directed by Raoul Walsh. The voice-over narration by journalist-turned-producer Mark Hellinger assuring audiences that “what they are about to see is based upon real people and events” he covered as a newsman during the 1920s and the use of actual newsreel footage give the crime drama a documentary feel. Also with Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, Gladys George, Frank McHugh and Paul Kelly.
Black & White, 106 minutes
Thursday, July 31 (2:30 p.m.)
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED (UFA, 1926)
The oldest surviving animation feature film, this German fairy tale is based on elements taken from the collection “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.” Director Lotte Reiniger used hand-cut silhouettes and stop motion to create her story frame by frame. Preceding the feature will be three animated sorts, each chosen to demonstrate a different narrative structure: “The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics” (MGM, 1965); “One Froggy Evening” (Warner Bros.,1955), which was added to the National Film Registry in 2003, and “Enter Life” (Pyramid Media, 1981). This screening is part of the Film Foundation’s “Story of the Movies: The Animation Universe” development workshop for classroom educators that is open to the public.
Black & White and color, approximately 100 minutes
Thursday, July 31 (7:30 p.m.)
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (Disney, 1937)
Walt Disney's groundbreaking “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the first American animated feature film, is still in a class by itself, a warm and joyful rendition of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. In addition to winning an Honorary Academy Award for "A significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field,” the film was also nominated for Best Musical Score. It was added to the National Film Registry in its inaugural year, 1989. This screening is part of the Film Foundation’s “Story of the Movies: The Animation Universe” development workshop for classroom educators that is open to the public. Short subjects to be announced.
Color, 83 minutes
Friday, Aug. 1 (2:30 p.m.)
In this animation program geared more toward an adult audience, the way sound effects and music work together to communicate the filmmaker’s vision will be explored. The first half will include the opening scene from WALL•E (Disney, 2008), followed by several shorts including “Gerald McBoing Boing” (UPA, 1950) which was added to the National Film Registry in 1995. The second part of the program will cover abstract and avant garde animation and feature works by Len Lye and Oskar Fischinger, followed by the 30 minute impressionistic “The Man Who Planted Trees,” Academy Award winner for Best Short Film, Animated in 1988. Part of the Film Foundation’s “Story of the Movies: The Animation Universe” development workshop for classroom teachers, this presentation is open to the public.
Color, approximately 120 minutes
Friday, Aug. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE (Sony Picture Classics, 2003)
Madame Souza goes on a quest to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist, who has been kidnapped by the French mafia. She is assisted by her obese hound Bruno and the Triplets of Belleville, music hall singers from the 1930s. Sylvain Chome wrote and directed this charming tale that is told primarily through song and pantomime. It was Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Music, Original Song for "Belleville Rendez-vous."
Color, 80 minutes
Saturday, Aug. 2 (2:30 p.m.)
THE IRON GIANT (Warner Bros., 1999)
In this animated family film, a boy makes friends with a guileless and colossal alien robot that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy. Brad Bird directed the science fiction adventure based on the 1968 novel “The Iron Man” by Ted Hughes. It features the voices of Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, Jennifer Aniston and Eli Marienthal as Hogarth Hughes. The 1962 Oscar winning animated short “The Hole” will be screened before the feature. The 15 minute cartoon was added to The National Film Registry in 2013.
Color, 86 minutes
Saturday, Aug. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (New World, 1984)
After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth. Famed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki also wrote this animated post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure, based on his own 1982 manga (Japanese comic) of the same name. The film frequently ranked among the best animated films in Japan and is seen as a seminal influence on the development of anime.
Color, 117 minutes
THE WAR THAT
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, by a Serbian Nationalist on June 28, 1914, was the first spark that would lead to the world being engulfed in a global war. By early August 1914, most major European powers declared war. On the first day of August Germany declared war on Russia and followed two days later doing the same with France; on the 4th the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in reaction to the invasion of Belgium; and within days Austria-Hungary and Serbia also entered the war. The United States declared its neutrality on August 19 just one week before the first major engagement of the war, the Battle of Tannenberg, began. Trench warfare, chemical weapons and death tolls far exceeding anyone’s expectations marked the war to end all wars. America would eventually enter the war in 1917, fighting would cease on November 11, 1918, and the official end of the war would be come with the signing of the Versailles Peace Treaty on June 28, 1919, five years to the day of the assassination of the Archduke. But future events now tell us, what was signed that day in a railroad car just outside of Paris was a major catalyst to an even bigger world war.
The films presented this weekend take a broad overview of The Great War. Thursday evening features “Grand Illusion” (1937), the story of two French soldiers and their German captors. Friday night’s screening of the Library of Congress restoration of the sound version of “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930) follows a German solider and his increasing disillusionment with war. Saturday evening concludes the look at WWI with “The Big Parade” (1925) which follows the exploits of three American doughboys. All three films have been characterized as anti-war films. Knowing what we now know, a very appropriate and forward thinking stance.
Thursday, Aug. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
GRAND ILLUSION (Continental Distributing, 1937)
Jean Renoir directed this classic treatise on war, focusing on French prisoners and their cultured German commandant. Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay star as the WWI French aviators from dissimilar social backgrounds who plot an escape, with Erich von Stroheim as the upper-class German officer. “La Grande Illusion” was the first foreign language film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Sixty years later, renowned film critic Janet Maslin called it "one of the most haunting of all war films."
Black & white, 114 minutes
Friday, Aug. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (Universal, 1930)
This vivid, poignant adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's eloquent pacifist novel about German boys' experiences as soldiers during WWI won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, Lewis Milestone. Starring Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Raymond Griffith and Slim Summerville, the film was restored in 1998 by the Library of Congress and added to the National Film Registry in 1990.
Black & white, 133 minutes
Saturday, Aug. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
THE BIG PARADE (MGM, 1925)
The son of a rich businessman joins the army when America enters World War I and is sent to France. He becomes friends with working-class soldiers and falls in love with a Frenchwoman, but has to leave her to move to the front line. That “The Big Parade” was the first war film told from the doughboy, rather than the officer's perspective, helped explain its enormous popularity. Named to the National Film Registry in 1992, this silent drama was directed by King Vidor and stars John Gilbert and Renee Adoree. Live musical accompaniment will be performed by Donald Sosin.
Black & white, 140 minutes
PRELUDE TO WAR: ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR II (August 14-16)
Seventy five years ago the winds of war were again blowing across the world, blowing at gale force. The Japanese military had assumed control of the country, Fascists controlled Italy, and Adolf Hitler had absolute power in Germany. America, still recovering from the Great Depression, took a decidedly isolationist stance and kept its distance from much that was happening elsewhere in the world. Great Britain tried to intervene but Neville Chamberlain’s failed attempt at “peace in our time” with the Munich Agreement virtually gave Hitler a blank check to ramp up his aggressive tactics. Japan’s invasion of Manchuria and then China and the atrocities of Nanking; the German Anschluss (Nazi takeover of Austria), and the occupation of the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia; Italy’s intrusions into Ethiopia and Albania—all of these horrendous events were merely the prelude to war.
The films presented this weekend explore the mindset of the various world leaders and the global circumstances that led to a second war that ravaged the world only a few short years after the first World War brought mankind to its knees. Thursday night’s program includes a number of short subjects made prior to the breakout of global war and will feature Frank Capra’s award-winning “Prelude to War” (1942), the first in the “Why We Fight!” series of films made about and during World War II. Friday evening will explore the Nazi propaganda machine that transformed so many into blind followers of Hitler with the screening of “Triumph of the Will” (1935). This cinematically powerful film is an excellent example of how the Nazis looked to cinema to make their grotesque ideology more palatable for the masses. Saturday night’s film, “Wings of the Navy” (1939) shows how, despite the general isolationist stance of the country, America was in its own way preparing for war. The three nights of screenings combined will provide an overview of where the USA and the world stood in those last days prior to the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, and the beginning of World War II.
Thursday, Aug. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
PRELUDE TO WAR (Twentieth Century Fox, 1942)
The first film of the “Why We Fight” propaganda film series, “Prelude to War” was commissioned by the Office of War Information (OWI) and Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall. Directed by Frank Capra, it was produced to assure American troops of the necessity of combating the Axis Powers during World War II. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary and the entire series was added to the National Film Registry in 2000. The 52 minute feature will be preceded by a number of short subjects that were made prior to the breakout of global war.
Black & white; program approximately 120 minutes
Friday, Aug. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
TRIUMPH OF THE WILL (Universum Film, 1935)
Director Leni Riefenstahl's infamous documentary on the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg contains excerpts from speeches given by Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, and Julius Streicher, interposed with footage of Nazi troops and public reaction. Praised for its innovative cinematography, it is regarded as the greatest propaganda film of all time and is both fascinating and frightening to see.
Black & white, 110 minutes
Saturday, Aug. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
WINGS OF THE NAVY (Warner Bros., 1939)
Submarine officer Jerry Harrington (John Payne) goes to Pensacola to train as a flying cadet, just like his brother Cass (George Brent), a long time airman. Competition escalates between the two when Jerry falls for his brother's girlfriend, Irene (Olivia de Havilland). Like many of the Warner Bros. features in the pre-World War II era, it was intended to serve as propaganda for the U.S. military and received support from the U.S. Navy which considered the film as a recruiting tool.
Black & white, 89 minutes
WESTERN SWING: LIVE AND ON FILM (August 21-23)
A combining of traditional Western music and hot jazz with a little bit of bluegrass and gospel mixed in for flavor, Western Swing music came into being in the late 1920s. The genre quickly gained acceptance and became very popular in the 1930s with the likes of Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. In the 1940s Spade Cooley, along with Bob Wills, kept Western Swing going but the war and changes in operation of nightclubs led to a decline in Western Swing’s popularity. But the likes of Asleep at the Wheel and Willie Nelson brought Western Swing storming back in the 1970s. Today Western Swing remains popular and increasingly so. Groups like Hot Club of Cowtown, The Time Jumpers, the still going Asleep at the Wheel and The Quebe Sisters Band bring traditional Western Swing to new audiences. This weekend we will feature a live performance from a new and exciting Western Swing group – Joey McKenzie and His Western Flyers as well as two nights of films highlighting Western Swing music.
Thursday, Aug. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
ROCKIN’ IN THE ROCKIES (Columbia, 1945)
The Hoosier Hot Shots, creators of madcap “rural midwestern jazz”; Spade Cooley and his Western swing band; Mary Beth Hughes and the Cappy Barra Boys Harmonica Band provide several toe-tapping tunes in this musical comedy western, the story of show biz hopefuls on a Western ranch. The Three Stooges also appear, with Moe playing it straight and Larry and Curly acting as a team.
Black & white, 63 minutes
Friday, Aug. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
JOEY MCKENZIE AND HIS WESTERN FLYERS (Live Event)
A blend of western swing, vintage country, bluegrass, jazz & swing standards and Texas-style fiddling will be heard on the Packard Theater stage, performed by Joey McKenzie and His Western Flyers. The Flyers consist of Katie Glassman, a two-time National Fiddle Champion and vintage-style singer, and Gavin Kelso, a world-class upright bass player. On May 10, 2013 McKenzie and Kelso performed in the first ever live music concert in the Packard Campus Theater as part of the Quebe Sisters Band.
Saturday, Aug. 23 (7:30 p.m.)
RUSSELL HAYDEN WITH BOB WILLS AND THE TEXAS PLAYBOYS DOUBLE FEATURE
Perennial western sidekick Russell Hayden launched his own starring series with Columbia pictures as "Lucky," the same character he'd previously portrayed in Hopalong Cassidy films. Supporting players are Dub "Cannonball" Taylor as his comic assistant, and Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys providing musical interludes. Filming for the eight features in the series was done in mid to late 1942, but the westerns were released over an extended period - from the fall of 1942 through the summer of 1944. They were always slick and crammed full of action.
SILVER CITY RAIDERS (Columbia, 1943)
Lucky tries to prove that crooked land baron Bart Dawson (Paul Sutton) doesn't have prior claim on the entire territory as he proclaims. When legal methods don’t pan out, Lucky and his pals use a more direct approach to drive Dawson out of town.
Black & white, 55 minutes
THE LAST HORSEMAN (Columbia, 1944)
Lucky Rawlins, foreman of the Bar W ranch, finds himself cheated out of a check for 12,000 dollars - the proceeds from a cattle drive. The culprit is the local banker, Cash Watson (John Maxwell), who has learned that the railroad is interested in buying up the local ranches and it’s up to Lucky to expose his dastardly deed.
Black & white, 54 minutes
Thursday, Aug. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
MYSTERY MOVIE NIGHT
The first in a new series at the Packard Theater, this unique film-going experience will provide only the genre and rating for a rarely seen title. Throughout the month additional clues will be given during the slide show before scheduled screenings at the theater. The first clues for the month: A crime-comedy with music, rated PG, and shown in a 35mm print. This film has never been released on home video of any kind.
Color, approximately 90 minutes
The theater will be closed August 29 - 30 for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
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Last Updated: 07/14/2014